1086: "Eyelash Wish Log"

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Pfhorrest
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Re: 1086: "Eyelash Wish Log"

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:20 am UTC

neremanth wrote:I wonder how inerrancy would apply to physical pain though? That would also be unnecessary, but is pain something you have the power not to feel (n which case it would be errant to feel it), or something beyond conscious control?

Disrupting the pain signals is probably not possible by mental discipline alone, but certainly your emotional reaction to them is. Learning that you are in control of your reactions even if you cannot escape the things happening to you is a major point of Buddhism, and this guy certainly made a great demonstration of such discipline: "As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him." Sure, that's just his physical actions, but that's the only insight we ever have into anyone else's emotions, and it would suggest that he was managing to stay calm and tranquil despite nerves undoubtedly shouting at him to get up and flail. An inerrant person would have that tranquility to ignore pain if necessary, to be emotionally undisturbed by it.

Come to that, are even mental states like boredom or dissatisfaction enough under conscious control that it would be possible for someone to stop feeling them just because feeling them would not represent the best state of affairs and they are inerrant?

People's degrees of boredom, dissatisfaction, and all other habitual mental states can be conditioned, and thus changed, by the actions of other people toward the subject; so they could certainly be conditioned by the action of the subject toward himself. If we can be taught patience, and we can teach patience, then we can teach ourselves patience; and so on.

But more directly, what kinds of perceptions and emotions you feel in response to what would be a major part of what would be changed about you in making you inerrant in the first place. It's that third, center step which is most important, and that is entirely about how you tend to feel about what you experience and what you should do about it. So in making you inerrant, the genie would have to make you so that you only get bored when it's appropriate; although combined with everything else, you would take action exactly when it was appropriate to start feeling bored, and so it would be more like a counterfactual "I would have gotten bored if I hadn't done something, but I did something, and so wasn't actually bored".

That's sort of a good example of how I imagine the whole thing working. You have the potential to feel bad, and you know exactly when you would start to feel bad, and that that corresponds exactly to when you failed to do the right thing, but you know exactly what the right thing to do is, and have no qualms about doing it, and doing it prevents the circumstances that would make you feel bad, so you never actually end up feeling bad. It's like... you feel heat near your skin and automatically pull away before you get burned, and you are aware of the fact that if you hadn't, rightly, pulled away, it would have hurt, but you did pull away and so it didn't hurt. Or a more abstract example, one of my favorite observations, a lot of good music will tend to have some pattern repeat exactly to the point where it's just about to get tiresome and then switch away one note before it does. (I observed in childhood that if I repeat something over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over -- like that -- that I would tend to stop my repetitions exactly at eight, as that felt like the natural multiple for something repetitive, but also that other people would get annoyed exactly at eight and tell me to stop right when I was planning to stop anyway).

So your potential for feeling bad in some circumstances is exactly what motivates you to act when and how you do, so being inerrant would largely be having those potentials precisely calibrated; feeling things always and only when it is appropriate to feel them, thus motivating you to act always and only when it is appropriate to act.
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Re: 1086: "Eyelash Wish Log"

Postby Kit. » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:37 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Similarly, on the subject of wishes, if I had three wishes, the first one would be to be infallible, inerrant, incapable of making a mistake -- ensuring that my second wish would be the optimal wish,

What is "a mistake"? :twisted:

If you wish to be unable to regret your actions later, that can be granted.

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Re: 1086: "Eyelash Wish Log"

Postby J Thomas » Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:05 pm UTC

whateveries wrote:
J Thomas wrote:Maybe you should wish to be lucky.


If you are in a position to have your wishes granted, by definition, you are lucky.

wishing to get lucky on the other hand...would probably just end up with a change in body laterality :)


Do you mean, "Count no man lucky until after he is dead"? But dying isn't enough to make you lucky, right? Don't you have to live a lucky life first, and then die?

Pfhorrest wrote:
neremanth wrote:I wonder how inerrancy would apply to physical pain though? That would also be unnecessary, but is pain something you have the power not to feel (n which case it would be errant to feel it), or something beyond conscious control?

Disrupting the pain signals is probably not possible by mental discipline alone, but certainly your emotional reaction to them is.


Simplifying, pain signals go to your thalamus which sorts the information and provides it to other parts of your brain. Sometimes you don't notice pains presumably because your thalamus "decided" that what you were doing was too important to deal with that distraction. It might be possible to develop a working relationship with your thalamus where you tell it what is worth bothering you about, and it does that. People under hypnosis traditionally would say they felt no pain and act like they felt no pain when they were told not to feel pain. I don't know for sure how much of that is people telling the hypnotist what he wants to hear. But I remember not feeling pain under hypnosis. I have had hypnotic dentistry, and I remember not feeling any pain -- it was very different from having an anesthetic. But then, it's easy to create false memories with hypnosis. I tend to believe it, though, because it's my own experience.

Presuming it is better to be happy than unhappy,

That's a big presumption. People would naturally tend to agree with it before they try it, but that doesn't make it right.

Let me put it this way -- a lot of people will say they like eating filet mignon more than they like to eat collard greens. But they wouldn't want to eat filet mignon every hour of every day.

What if there's no such thing as inerrancy? Everybody just picks what they want and goes for it. Where does that leave you if you wish to be inerrant?

Then my wish cannot be granted, just as a wish to be omniscient couldn't be granted if there was no such thing as objective truth.


But if you think there is such a thing as inerrancy, would the genie mold you into what you think you want? Somebody who faithfully carries out your current goals and is unable to change to new goals outside the parameters of what you want now?

What if there is such a thing as inerrancy, but it involves things that you would never want from your current perspective?

Then I am currently mistaken, and need to learn something. Per the above analogy: what if there is such a thing as the objective truth, but it involves things you would never believe from your current perspective? Wouldn't you like to find out where you were wrong and learn the real truth instead of persisting under your false beliefs?


It depends. I would like to find out the truth at a rate that I can handle. If my whole personality is built on artificial structures that are irrelevant to reality, what happens to me when I find that out? It might be like taking a milligram of LSD all at once. It might work better for me to build series of alternate personalities that handle successively more reality than to try to do it all at once.

I personally make a big distinction between facts and values. Facts are true or false or meaningless or somewhere in between. Values are your choice, and there isn't "truth" about what you should value -- you get to choose unless you notice that the choice has already been made. But what if I'm wrong? What if it turns out to be objectively true that cute little girls are really no more valuable than baby cockroaches? I might prefer to keep my false values. Or at least have a decent interval to get used to the truth, maybe in stages.
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Re: 1086: "Eyelash Wish Log"

Postby yawningdog » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:04 pm UTC

Lo I say unto thee, the wish of February 27th is hereby granted. So let it be written, so let it be done.


Code: Select all

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Re: 1086: "Eyelash Wish Log"

Postby Ggrogg » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:16 pm UTC

Am I the only one who, because of the title, thought that this was going to be a list of wishes made by Randall's eyelash?

After a few moments I remembered that some people do use them to "make wishes" but for a few seconds there I thought this was going to be a VERY bizzarre but almost certainly hilarious comic.

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Re: 1086: "Eyelash Wish Log"

Postby Angelastic » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:31 am UTC

cheeseheadtotherescue wrote: Somehow, the thought of an EXTREMELY bushy eyed stick figure popped into my head and I just started laughing hysterically!

This reminds me of the short story 'The Boy With Too Many Teeth' by Trevor Strong. :) (You can read it for free on scribd; I can't add a link yet.)

For those saying to wish for immortality, think about it a bit and see if you wouldn't prefer just wishing to be alive until the human race dies out, or until some time before the Sun turns into a red giant. As for inerrency, I'd be afraid of ending up unable to do anything, let alone make another wish.
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Re: 1086: "Eyelash Wish Log"

Postby flicky1991 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:18 pm UTC

Ggrogg wrote:Am I the only one who, because of the title, thought that this was going to be a list of wishes made by Randall's eyelash?

So... what exactly would an eyelash wish for? XD
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Re: 1086: "Eyelash Wish Log"

Postby The Moomin » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:06 pm UTC

flicky1991 wrote:
Ggrogg wrote:Am I the only one who, because of the title, thought that this was going to be a list of wishes made by Randall's eyelash?

So... what exactly would an eyelash wish for? XD


If adverts are to be believed, volumising mascara that doesn't streak I guess.
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Re: 1086: "Eyelash Wish Log"

Postby VectorZero » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:43 am UTC

Angelastic wrote:For those saying to wish for immortality, think about it a bit and see if you wouldn't prefer just wishing to be alive until the human race dies out, or until some time before the Sun turns into a red giant. As for inerrency, I'd be afraid of ending up unable to do anything, let alone make another wish.
Wishing to be alive until there are no humans left alive sounds like immortality to me...
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Re: 1086: "Eyelash Wish Log"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:51 am UTC

VectorZero wrote:
Angelastic wrote:For those saying to wish for immortality, think about it a bit and see if you wouldn't prefer just wishing to be alive until the human race dies out, or until some time before the Sun turns into a red giant. As for inerrency, I'd be afraid of ending up unable to do anything, let alone make another wish.
Wishing to be alive until there are no humans left alive sounds like immortality to me...

Heh, sure is. Let m be a member of set S. While the cardinality of S > 0, keep m a member of set S. m = you, S = living humans.
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Re: 1086: "Eyelash Wish Log"

Postby Angelastic » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:10 am UTC

Hehe. :) Okay, until the extinction of the rest of the human race. Hopefully you won't get sick of life before then and go on a murderous suicidal rampage. Actually, maybe you should just live while there are still antidepressants. Or (and this amounts to the same thing, for me) until you run out of cake.
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